Check out our new sudoku game to the right. The objective of the game is to fill all the blank squares in a game with the correct numbers. There are three very simple constraints to follow. In a 9 by 9 square Sudoku game:
* Every row of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order
* Every column of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order
* Every 3 by 3 subsection of the 9 by 9 square must include all digits 1 through 9
Sudoku has a fascinating history. “Su” means number in Japanese, and “Doku” refers to the single place on the puzzle board that each number can fit into. It also refers to someone who is single.
Although its name is Japanese, its origins are actually European and American.
Sudoku are easy to learn yet highly addictive language-independent logic puzzles which have recently taken the whole world by storm. Using pure logic and requiring no math to solve, these fascinating puzzles offer endless fun and intellectual entertainment to puzzle fans of all skills and ages.
Though sudoku seemed to achieve ubiquity overnight in 2005, the puzzle has actually been around for decades. So-called magic squares were an occasional pastime among smarties during the days of Ben Franklin, who enjoyed the puzzles. Assigning absolute authorship for the modern version’s invention is akin to crediting the wheel’s designer, but several key people were integral to the creation of sudoku as we know and play it.
According to The New York Times, 18th-century Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler studied conundrums called Latin squares, which involved plugging the same set of numbers into each row and column in a grid. Two hundred years after Euler, in 1979, retired American architect Howard Garns contributed puzzles titled Number Place for publication by Connecticut-based crossword giant Dell Magazines. Number Place added a key element to Latin squares, the nine boxes within the overall grid.
Enter Japanese publisher Nikoli Co., which in 1984 published Garns-style puzzles under the name sudoku. Pronounced “soo-DOH-koo,” the word roughly translates as “only single numbers allowed.” In 1997, Wayne Gould, a New Zealander and retired Hong Kong judge, was vacationing in Tokyo, where he stumbled across a sudoku book. It intrigued him and he developed a computer program to generate more of the puzzles.
When Gould was in London in October 2004, he dropped by The Times newspaper offices and convinced them to try publishing sudoku. Within weeks, the puzzles appeared in print, and readers were hooked. “I came across this puzzle that needed a lot of help and encouragement,” Gould told Psychology Today, adding he is “the stepfather,” not the father, of sudoku. Today, the puzzles appear in almost 400 newspapers in 60 countries.